Sunday, July 23, 2006

Another example of media bias

This story from the front page of the local section of the Deseret News caught my eye yesterday. It seems that a neighbor of a family with a mentally-disabled son got fed up with his antics and posted a sign saying "Caution: Retards in Area".

The impression one got from reading the story was that this neighbor was picking on this poor family because their 13 year-old son is roughly equivalent to a 3 year-old in terms of mental capacity and like most 3 year-olds, doesn't understand the concept of property. Most of the article dealt with how everyone involved agreed the neighbor was being "hurtful" and how greater "sensitivity" towards the handicapped was needed in Juab county.

What a difference a day makes. In today's paper, a small byline article gave an update to the situation. It seems the police visited the neighbor and convinced (or threatened) him into taking down the sign. But what is really interesting is that we now find out this "loving little guy" who according to yesterday's article "frequently wanders" onto neighbor's property has actually been entering their homes uninvited, eating their food, and rifling through their possessions. In other words, committing acts that could be considered felonies if he had the mental capacity to establish criminal intent.

We also find out that this boy didn't just throw rocks at the neighbor's daughter; he actually hit her in the knee and elbow. Although I think the neighbor was wrong to post the sign, I can now understand the frustration that caused him to do it. It would appear that the boy, far from being a harmless little fuzzball, is actually becoming dangerous to others and his mother is either unwilling or unable to control his behavior.

I suppose it would be cynical of me to suggest that the reporter in the original story colored the facts in order to make the boy appear harmless and the neighbor appear bigoted and cruel. But if that's not the case, then he's a poor reporter because those facts shouldn't have been glossed over in the original article. If anyone ever wonders why I am so distrustful of the MSM, this is a perfect example. The article was written in a way calculated to produce outrage among the Do-Gooders of Salt Lake, probably to satisfy their appetite for moral superiority.


At 5:27 PM, Blogger BobG said...

I remember reading the article; though I disagree with the sign, the boy's parents need to take some responsibility for him, and establish some sort of control. If for no other reason other than he and/or others could get hurt if this behavior persists.

At 1:30 AM, Blogger The Great El-ahrairah said...

You forgot "screaming" in front of "media bias".


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